June 28, 2013
It Isn't Over Yet
A frustrating reaction to some postings on the American Thinker is the "it's all over, the Republic is gone, we've lost, etc." lament. Unless effectively countered, it could lead some to surrender prematurely to the forces of darkness currently afflicting America.
Yes, conservatives are in serious trouble. We lost the culture wars. Along with their left-wing Democrat allies, the news and entertainment industries are transmogrifying the U.S into some kind of welfare state. Ultra-leftists are in the saddle and determined to stay on top. The Right is demoralized and divided. The typical citizen pays more attention to reality TV than to public affairs.
There are other examples of conservatives' predicament, but these will suffice.
No matter how bleak situations have been in the past, those who fought on should always be inspiring. They haven't always prevailed; think of those doomed 7th Cavalry troopers at Little Big Horn. But, despite very steep odds, some "last-ditch defenders of lost causes" have not lost.
When Winston Churchill was named Prime Minister in May, 1940, who would have given Great Britain much chance of winning against Nazi Germany?
American conservatives' situation is probably not as bleak as Britain's prospects were after France surrendered in June, 1940. Even so, we face long odds.
If conservatives intend to win, we must be willing to rethink some traditional positions. We also have to reinstate practices that worked before, but seem to have been allowed to wither. Conservatives should also borrow successful tactics from the enemy.
Let's begin with something new. (The following remarks are not aimed at small business, which remains a bulwark of sanity in an otherwise out-of-control world.)
Conservatives have to distance themselves from big business. Big business has learned to live with big government. Indeed, big government is a big boon to big business. When government regulations strangle entrepreneurs, the casualties are usually small businesses. Crony capitalism benefits not just union bosses, but corporate chieftains. Many corporate elites identify with the Democrats, and donate large amounts to Democrats. Were conservatives to jettison close ties with big business, the page in the age-old Democrat playbook which accuses the GOP of being the party of the rich would have to be torn out.
It won't be, of course. Fresh thinking is anathema to most leftists. When was The Communist Manifesto written? 1848. That's 165 years ago.
It is saddening to see how often conservatives also fail to realize that the world of yesteryear is gone. We conservatives have to wake up to today's reality.
Big business is allied with the American Political Establishment (APE), which is aptly described by Steve McCann in the American Thinker (June 20). Conservatives will not, however, succeed just by defeating Democrats and cleansing the GOP of "country club" Republicans who don't mind being junior partners in APE. Large corporations are a foe just as are über-leftists.
A couple paragraphs above I referred to The Communist Manifesto. Pay attention to Marx and Engels' characterization of businessmen's, a.k.a. "the bourgeoisie's," role in history. They depicted the bourgeoisie as one of the most revolutionary classes in all history!
Today, big businessmen and businesswomen are Barack Obama's willing helpers in fundamentally transforming America into a soft tyranny.
Don't believe me? Consider big corporations' role in efforts to grant "amnesty/a path-to-citizenship" to illegal immigrants. Why, all-of-a-sudden, have so many Republicans gone wobbly on this issue?
As always in politics, follow the money. Big money donors to the GOP -- including, according to Rush Limbaugh, the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson -- want illegal immigrants given "amnesty/a path-to-citizenship," and they are letting GOP pols know the checkbooks will be closed... unless.
Some say that wealthy types want cheap labor, and don't care if 70% of new citizens vote Democrat. After all, if Democrats win every presidential election for at least the next generation or two, it will probably mean more crony capitalism. That may be why a portion of the well-to-do are backing "amnesty/a path-to-citizenship."
Plumping for "amnesty/a path-to-citizenship" will not help the GOP win elections. In 2012, for example, Hispanics made up only 8% of the electorate, and even had Romney garnered 70% of the Hispanic vote, he still would have lost.
Something else is going on.
It's also possible that, as Angelo Codevilla wrote earlier this year in Forbes magazine, "country club" Republicans are part of "the ruling class," and don't give a (bleep) what the rest of the population, a.k.a. "the country class," wants.
Before lamenting "it's all over" and throwing in the towel, conservatives need to realize they have allies in the political arena. Find out who - individuals as well as organizations -- left-wing Democrats fear. The old political saw that "my enemy's enemy is my friend" applies here.
We know some of the individuals -- e.g., Sarah Palin and Allen West -- and organizations -- especially the Tea Party -- leftists fear. Stop allowing those people to be verbally abused, and warn establishment Republicans they risk "the loyal order of the boot" if they treat allied organizations and their members badly. (Think, for example, how John Boehner threw Tea Party House members off key committees. At that moment, conservatives should have realized where they stood vis-à-vis "country club" Republicans, and reacted accordingly.)
Conservatives also should return to past practices that led to electoral success, but appear to have been left fallow. Reach out to those Democrat "bitter clingers" -- i.e., members of "the silent majority" or, more recently, Reagan Democrats, whose votes gave GOP candidates from Richard Nixon to Ronald Reagan victory at the polls.
The current imbroglio over illegal immigration offers an excellent opportunity to bring disgruntled Democrats into the GOP "tent." Millions of people -- many of whom identify as Democrats and have recently voted for that party's candidates -- can be swayed by the right message, such as securing national borders before doing anything else. Appealing to these people's deep-seated patriotism will engender cries of "racism" and "xenophobia" from even country club Republicans. Let 'em squeal. The louder their lamentations, the better.
Conservatives need better tactics. One is to make more use of Richard Viguerie's "direct mail" method to raise money in small amounts. The GOP already raises more money in small amounts than Democrats. If the GOP were to distance itself from big business, tycoons will probably close their checkbooks. If chairman of the Republican Party Reince Priebus and the current GOP National Committee don't want to, or can't, change money-raising tactics to offset any lost funds, show them the door.
A famous Democrat politico, Jesse Unruh, said "Money is the mothers' milk of politics." But he didn't say "big donations."
Finally, conservatives must get a better election-day "ground game." I've read that Romney and his advisors actually believed they would win in 2012. If true, it shows how disconnected from every-day politics top GOP personnel were.
Find out what Democrats are doing, and use those tactics that are legal. Copy the enemy's tactics if those tactics make the difference between winning and losing.
Conservatives need to remember what the late, great, coach, Vince Lombardi, was alleged to have said: "Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing."
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